IBM System z Provides Mainframe Customers Industry Proven Resources for Running SAP for Banking Solutions

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Boeblingen, Germany - 22 Dec 2008: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced a new blueprint for customers in the banking sector, aimed at leveraging their mainframe investments for running the SAP® for Banking solutions portfolio. Titled “SAP for Banking Solutions on IBM System z,” the new reference architecture publication focuses on the stringent system infrastructure needs of banking customers. It is based on real-world experiences gained at many high-end implementations at banks worldwide, which view continuous availability as a major requirement for their SAP for Banking solutions. The new publication highlights the combined strengths of SAP business applications with the power of the IBM System z mainframe. The setup helps ensure business continuity for the world’s top 50 banks which run System z.[1] Banking clients continue to seek out System z as their development and testing hardware for seamless operations and for cost savings through reduced licensing fees and avoidance of investment in new facilities and additional equipment.

“The collaboration between SAP and IBM for the banking reference architecture paper is an excellent example on how two of the world’s largest IT companies can drive value and innovation for customers,” says Ian Hurst, General Manager, IBM Global Financial Services Sector.

 “The SAP for Banking solution portfolio covers the whole range of transactional and analytical banking processes,” says Johan Kestens, Head of Line of Business Financial Services, SAP AG . “Experiences in customer environments demonstrate that the IBM System z infrastructure is a reliable and robust solution for our banking customers. The reference architecture related to SAP for Banking provides banking customers with a recommendation on how to meet the infrastructure requirements of SAP for Banking solutions, with products and components that are mature and proven in most of the world’s banking environments.”

Development and banking experts from SAP and the IBM System z Technology Center for SAP Applications in Boeblingen contributed to this new reference architecture publication, which describes the essentials for financial institutions to safeguard secure and continuous operations in a highly available environment. For example, global operations require processing unicode data as efficiently as traditional data, support across different languages and time zones, as well as integration of diverse business applications for partners and customers. These requirements aim to build a seamless interplay among servers, operating systems, databases, and disk systems.  Business applications, such as SAP for Banking, rely on the operational support of the underlying infrastructure. The newly introduced reference architecture also covers the technical integration with external banking applications based on IBM WebSphere®, CICS®, or IMS™. 

SAP and IBM have worked together for more than a decade in optimizing the use of SAP solutions running on DB2 for z/OS on System z, and the unveiling of this new publication further demonstrates the success of this collaboration.  

“The new publication describes the architecture that was designed for banking, but also applies to any High Availability architecture. Customers from all industries can learn from Banking best practice and apply it to their own industry,” remarks Heinz-Hubert Weusthof, Program Director, IBM System z Technology Center for SAP Applications at IBM in Boeblingen.  

The Reference Architecture paper was presented to customers and partners at the annual Community Conference in Boeblingen, Germany, on September 17-18, hosted by the IBM System z Technology Center for SAP Applications. The conference addressed technical as well as business topics, and directly fostered exchange among the technical experts from SAP, IBM, and from other customers.  

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1 Source: top WW Banks as identified by the Fortune Global 500 in 2006, IBM client list cross-referenced.

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